If you’re ever struggling to find a word to convey “resilience” to your audience, just flip open your old history textbooks. Gladiator-era language contains a whole arsenal of “strength and valour” metaphors that you might find helpful, especially if you’re in the field of branding and marketing. Take Trojan-brand condoms and Armor-All car wax, for example. If it’s got a helmet on, it must be strong.
It’s a well-tested formula, but if you’re not careful, your clever historical metaphor will quickly appear dated. That’s the problem that Trinity Western University’s “Spartans” ran into. Dubbed and branded the Spartans in the early 70s, TWU’s Athletics Department (and all its varsity sports team) were stuck trying to find and employ a suitable logo that would draw on its historical references and still look comfortable in the current decade.
For a long time, it was a losing battle. After wrestling through various manifestations of helmets and soldiers, 2D and 3D head tilts, and accidental references to Troy and Rome instead of Sparta, it became clear that a line needed to be drawn. A swooping, calligraphic, helmet-shaped line, to be exact.
The new logo was created by Industrial Brand Creative Inc., and has successfully accomplished a number of goals. First of all – and this is all hearsay, as Elbowruminations is not a history blog – the new logo more accurately reflects the type of helmet that Spartan warriors wore into battle. Secondly, the new logo has much greater elegance and simplicity. Gone is the garish 3D and clunky block letters. In its place is a new warrior: a sleek soldier, one without the clunky bevel-and-embossing armour to hold him back.
The typeface that accompanies the new helmet logo is a very dangerous-looking font – Spartan opponents may find themselves impaled by the wordmark’s spear-like terminals. The sharp edges are a nice complement to the otherwise soft helmet logo.
Since most sports logos tend to go overboard with visual effects and unnecessary swooshes, the simplicity of this logo is quite refreshing. The only element that looks amiss in the new logo is the dubiously-integrated oval eye-hole – it appears awkwardly inserted, as if it were a mere afterthought.
All in all, the new logo is a vast improvement over all previous instances of the TWU Spartan’s identities. With this new symbol, the Spartans are well equipped to carry the torch of the team’s own past, as well as the legend of ancient Sparta.